Immersed in over 2,000-years of history, art, and culture, London has a lot to offer visitors apart from its big-ticket attractions. We often get focus on the prominent attractions like the Big Ben, Hyde Park, and Buckingham Palace, missing out on the lesser known gems this city has to offer.
While planning what to see in London is one part of the story, booking your flights and accommodations is the other important bit. And if you're flying down from India, it is often a long flight and you want a seamless travel experience. Virgin Atlantic has now introduced daily direct flights from Mumbai to London that offer utmost comfort, great in-flight service and a host of other benefits. Talk about the best of both worlds!
As for the experiences, here is the ultimate list of unusual things that will help you discover London like never before:
Discover some of the world's best street art
East London has been known to house some of the world's best street artists. And while street art and the artists come and go, the streets around Shoreditch and Hackney are swamped with life and colour. Taking a street art tour is one of the best ways to explore London's pop culture. These tours also give you a chance to dig deeper into the city's history. And if you take the tour with Alternative London, you will be guided around by well-known street artists themselves!
Have a meal in absolute darkness at Dans Le Noir
Dans Le Noir offers a unique dining experience that aims to encourage participants to re-evaluate their approach towards food. Here you eat in complete darkness, so that you focus on the taste, smell and texture of the food. Another unique part about this place is that the hosts are visually impaired and they're the ones who guide you through the meal. The darkness is used as a tool to free you of your inhibitions and foster amiability without preconceptions.
Go for an all-night film marathon at Prince Charles Cinema
Prince Charles Cinema is a revival house located in Leicester that hosts a rotating programme of cult, arthouse and classic films alongside the newer Hollywood releases. It usually runs over 10 different films each week on two screens! And is probably the only place where you can watch movies all night long! You can also attend a sing-along version of The Sound of Music if you're interested in being a part of the films you're watching.
Bask in neon lights at God’s Own Junkyard
Located in East London, God's Own Junkyard is a treasure trove for anyone fascinated by neon lights. A psychedelic gallery owned and operated by neon artist Chris Bracey, it contains everything from old shop signs to props used in fashion shoots. Walking around the space is a very unique experience and is often considered one of the more Instagrammable places in London. The gallery also has a cafe–The Rolling Stones Cafe. But there's a catch! The place is open only on weekends and the entry is free so you might have to fight for a spot!
Drop in at a 300-year-old tea shop
No one loves tea more than the Brits, right? London used to practically run on the stuff and the Twining was one of the first merchants to bring tea to the UK. It has been providing the royal households with brews since 1837. You can get a taste of all the old and new teas at the Twinnings Café on the Strand. And while it has seen some changes since it opened in 1706, it still preserves its old world charm and of course the signature taste.
Go for an insightful lesson at The School of Life
If you're big on self help, you probably know of the The School of Life YouTube channel. Well, it's now actually a full blown organisation offering lessons and workshops on mindfulness, leadership, and life! And it's located in London. So if you're in the city, a great way to remedy the rat-race blues and meet new people in the process is to attend lectures and events offered by The School of Life. You can find upcoming classes, here.
Go on a special night tour of London's museums
If you associate museum visits with school children and stuffy exhibitions, think again. Museums at Night, a special festival dedicated to shining a light on Britain's sparkling culture and heritage offers late night events and tours at museums across London. These special after-hours offerings often include drinks, music, talks, tours, performances, and one helluva atmosphere. Apart from twice-yearly festival, you can find regular after-hour events here.
Ready to take that much awaited trip to London? Book yourself a seat on Virgin Atlantic's daily direct flights from Mumbai to London and check the city off your bucket list! You can check out flights and timings here.
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In association with Virgin Atlantic.